Is IAS Toughest Exam in the World?

As you would know, the UPSC Prelims is the first obstacle to your IAS dreams. This exam is taken by lakhs of Indians every year. Those who make it will be eligible to take the UPSC mains exam. And only on getting the required rank in this exam will the candidates be summoned for the UPSC interview. Finally, only a few hundreds would get a job with the Indian civil services once they get past the interview.

Keeping the above factors in mind this article will try its best to address the fundamental question that has been on the minds of many candidates. Know more about the IAS exam in the link.

The Crucial Strategy for UPSC Exams page will help you to get ahead of your competition. Visit the page now!!

Candidates can check the following links to further their chances of cranking one of the toughest exams in the country:

Why is the IAS Exam considered tough?

A lot of people consider the IAS exam to be the toughest exam in India. This is because of the very low pass percentage here. Also, there is a huge syllabus (check the UPSC syllabus in the link) to be covered not to mention the variety of topics one has to learn for it. And, it is not only knowledge but your writing skills also that are tested. Once you get through the written parts (prelims and mains), you have to face the IAS interview/personality test where you will be assessed on your overall personality, administrative skills and ability to face pressure. A lot of this makes the IAS exam seem really difficult to crack. This article compares the IAS exam with other competitive exams in India like IIT/JEE and the CAT.

See more about the UPSC exam pattern here.

The table compares the IAS exam with other competitive exams in India like IIT/JEE and the CAT.

Full form Union Public Service Commission Civil Services Exam Indian Institute of Technology/Joint Entrance Exam Common Admission Test
Purpose Recruitment into Indian civil services Admission into IITs Admission into IIMs and other B-schools (for MBA)
Eligibility Graduate Std. XII Graduate
Number of attempts 6 (for general category) 2 Unlimited
Number of exams 3 rounds (2 papers in prelims + 9 papers in mains + interview) 1 1
Number appeared 5,68,282 (2019) 1,61,319 (2019, Advanced) 1, 95, 000 (2014-16)
Number qualified 829 (2019) 38,705 (2019, Advanced) 3335 (2014-16)
Success rate (per 1000 candidates) 1.5 240 17.1


As you can see from the table above, the success rate is the lowest for the IAS exam. It is true that we cannot compare all the exams as each one of them require unique attributes, domain knowledge and skills to clear. But it cannot be argued that the UPSC civil services are a comprehensive exam when you look into the challenges faced by the candidates and also the time it takes to prepare for the exam. But one thing is true, hard work, planning and a whole lot of practice are needed to pass any exam. How difficult or easy the exam will depend on how much you have prepared for the exam. To put it in simple terms, do not let the competition or even the scale of the exam daunt you. You should keep these thoughts in the back of your mind and keep a level head when preparing for the exam.

For more UPSC related preparation materials and articles, visit the links given in the table below:

Related Links

UPSC Books UPSC Monthly Current Affairs Magazine Current Affairs Quiz
About RBI Tips to Study from Laxmikant for UPSC Indian Polity Notes for UPSC
Geography Class 12 NCERT Book PDF Important Acts in India Ram Prasad Bismil


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